‘What do you want to do with the rest of your life?’
This was the question put to us in our Bible Study Group last week. I was interested in the responses from the teenagers, the elderly and the middle-aged…and the ones who tried to dodge the issue with a vague reply! We didn’t get many definite answers.
Later that week, I happened upon more resources relating to this topic. I read an interesting book in which the author suggested we should ask the question this way: ‘What don’t you want to do with the rest of your life?’ He said that people would give lots of responses to that question, and soon they’d know what they did want to do. An excellent solution! It gives guidelines to help us move forward. Sometimes we’re more passionate about what we hate than what we love!
Have you ever asked your child, ‘What did you do at school today?’ I’ve found the most common reply is, ‘Nothing’. It’s the wrong question! But how many of us continue to ask it every day? Kids at school don’t get a choice about their activities. They’re expected to give it a go; to do it! That’s the way they learn and that’s why they’re at school. People say, ‘I’m not ready yet’, and defer putting pen to paper, fabric under the needle, or brush to canvas. I even heard a man say that he’s not ready to become a Christian…yet, even though he intends to. Imagine if a student told their teacher, ‘I don’t want to try this, I’m not ready yet’.
Then I discovered an article on clarity and how a lack of it destroys creative confidence. The writer cited the way many of us find it difficult to get started on a project. Some creative people keep endlessly researching, others have no confidence in their ability. As for me, I do lots of research for quilting projects and before I know it, I’m inundated with more ideas than I’ll ever use. I think I’m looking for more clarity, but perhaps I’m searching for excuses not to fail!
It might feel more ‘spiritual’ to ‘leave it to the Lord’ about our life’s future activity, but is that the answer to the question? Perhaps we’re afraid of a fatal mistake or never finishing. Well, I wouldn’t have made one quilt if I’d only read about them. I’ve turned out lots of messes; they make great pot mitts! I call it practising! And next time it’s better…even beautiful.
So what do we want to do with the rest of our lives? Are we brave enough to whittle it down to what we can start today? Will we accept some rules that mightn’t look like creativity? Or could we admit what our passions really are, and utilise a few well-tried methods that our forerunners have passed on?
Finally, I found the perfect resource: some words that God said. They’ll be an encouragement, an inspiration, every time we hesitate.
I’ll take the hand of those who don’t know the way, who can’t see where they’re going. I’ll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country. I’ll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don’t fall into the ditch. These are the things I’ll be doing for them – sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute. Isaiah 42: 16 – The Message Bible
If you’re longing to do it, dive in! God promises to be with us. Let’s tidy up our thoughts, accept the clarity God offers, and go for it!